How to Decode your WDX-WM300 Body Tag

Dodge used two basic styles of Body Tags between 1946 and 1968 on all Dodge trucks. The early 46-56 tags had a different 4 number prefix depending on the model of truck and are located on the door jamb. The later 57-68 tags do not have a model component to them and are located on the top or side edge of the firewall. It would take several pages to decode every body tag Dodge used in this era, so this page is limited to WDX-WM300 Power-Wagons.

Below is an image of the 1946-56 Body tag on a 1949 B-1-PW126, so the tag is on the drivers side front door jamb, early 1946 trucks had the same tag on the passenger side front door jamb. This tag was mounted on the drivers door jamb from mid 1946 until 1956. Though sometimes left off at the factory, 95% of the 1946-1956 production had this tag.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

1946 WDX to 1950 B-2-PW-126 Body Tags start with 4312, and the rest of the numbers, in this case 12677, are sequential. Because of this, the body tag number can be used to determine the approximate year of the truck.

California, and Michigan built trucks all use the same first four numbers for a given year, so it is hard to determine the model year from the Body Tag without also looking at the first three digits of the serial number to determine where the truck was built. California trucks have an 887 prefix and Michigan trucks have an 839 prefix. Even with that information, the Body Tag is not a VIN number, it is just a sequential tag that was put on the truck cab by Budd. So while the numbers tend to be in order, and can be related to the time the cab was built, they are not in perfect order like the VIN numbers.

1951 B-3-PW-126 to 1956 C4-PW6-126 Body tags start with 5182, and again the numbers after the dash can be related to when the cab was built, which gives a good idea of what year truck it is from. Other Dodge trucks of the same era have a different group of first four numbers depending on the model of the truck.

Below is a 1952 Dodge truck Body Tag:

Click for larger image

Starting in 1957 Dodge did away with the Body Tags on the door jamb, and moved them to the upper surfaces of the firewall. At the same time, Dodge changed the style, appearance, and numbering of the Body Tag.

Below is a 1957 Body Tag, note it starts with an L, which was for Light Duty. 1957-58 Body Tags on trucks One Ton or less start with an L, later trucks do not. Thanks to Tyler for the next two images!

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The number in this case is L-27484, which may or may not be sequential to Power-Wagons, and unlike the 4312/5182 numbers which decode to 1946-56 Power-Wagons only, this tag could be on any 1957-1958 Dodge truck. This is because none of the numbers on this tag can be used to determine the truck model. Look below for the location of this tag:

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This particular one is located on the passenger side of the cowl, below where the hood covers.

I am not sure that all 1957-1958 Body Tags will be in the same location, judging from other models of 1957-1958 Dodge trucks, the tags could be located anywhere on the cowl area of the cab, below the hood.

Dodge continued to use the same style tag as it did in 1957-58, all the way until at least 1968, but stopped using the L in 1959. Below is a 1959-1968 style tag, this one is located on the top of the cowl, more to the drivers side, but this location may change from truck to truck.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image
Here is the layout of the numbers on the tags:
1946-1950 Starts with 4312, most likely the first number was 4312-101 or 4312-001. 4312 was the unique Budd number for the WDX to B-2-PW-126 style cab.
1951-1956 Starts with 5182, most likely the first number was 5182-0001. 5182 was the unique Budd number for the B-3-PW-126 to C-4-PW6-126 style cab.
1957-1958 Starts with an L for Light Duty trucks (One Ton or less), unknown starting sequence number. Tends to be 4-5 digits long after the L.
1959-1968 Tends to be a 4 digit number.
Detroit Production Year
4312-267 1946-1947
4312-627 1946-1947
4312-658 1946-1947
4312-828 1946-1947
4312-1260 1946-1947
4312-1550 1946-1947
4312-2218 1946-1947
4312-2359 1946-1947
4312-3850 1946-1947
4312-4313 1946-1947
4312-4922 1946-1947
4312-5859 1946-1947
4312-5862 1946-1947
4312-6469 1946-1947
4312-6663 1946-1947
4312-7589 1948
4312-7865 1948
4312-8804 1948
4312-8846 1948
4312-9076 1948
4312-9442 1948
4312-10528 1948
4312-10668 1948
4312-11137 1948
4312-11683 1948
4312-11865 1948
4312-12284 1949
4312-12264 1949
4312-12677 1949
4312-12668 1949
4312-15044 1950
California Production Year
4312-5031 1946-1947
4312-5505 1946-1947
4312-7865 1948
4312-12489 1949
Detroit Production Year
5182-5302 1952-1953
5182-5716 1952-1953
5182-6646 1952-1953
5182-6842 1952-1953
5182-7084 1952-1953
5182-6735 1953
California Production Year
5182-0027 1951
5182-1939 1951
5182-6662 1952-1953
5182-4167 1952-1953
5182-10033 1952-1953
There is not yet enough info on the 1957-1968 style tags to determine if they can be used to figure out the year of production, hopefully as more data is entered into the Registry a pattern will emerge.

I hope to update this page from time to time as more information becomes available. I am also very interested in suggestions for additional content to include on this page.

Please contact the Registry maintainers at the below email address if you have any suggestions or questions.

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